This is a list for buffing up grave guard to do silly things and throw them at the enemy. It’s a nonsense list don’t take it too seriously.
Designed around the idea of having more CP available with AoS 3.0
To get all the buffs off you would need 3CP, you need 1CP saved for a reroll charge and then probably want another 1CP for Inspiting presence. However you don’t need all the buffs off at once you could realistically just keep your CP for reroll charges and battleshock and use the passive/spell buffs.
Place gravesites roughly in the middle of the board near enemy territory ensuring you can deploy units within 9” of your opponents army and the other two towards the front of your territory.
All three units of Grave Guard in reserves. Necromancers hold back with the corpse cart and Skeletons for protections. Mannfred, the Wight king and Vampire nearby ready to send forward.
Use Mannfred’s command ability for +1 to hit and wound 12” aura.
Necromancer uses Morbheg’s Claw for +2 to cast this turn (on top of corpse carts +1).
First Necromancer casts Cogs for +2” move and charge, second casts Spellportal.
Vampire casts Pinions for +6” move.
Use spell portal with Mannfred’s Decrepify or Wind of Death on prime targets.
Deploy the of units of Grave Guard within 9” of enemy units depending on what you can charge. The big units can do a hell of a lot of damage so feel free to string them out. You can keep the 30 behind the other unit ready to use fully buffed turn two. Or keep a unit back in the gravesites.
Charge everyone with +2 to the roll, reroll charges if you have the CP.
Legion of Night trait will give you +1 save turn one which will help your alpha strike be more survivable.
If your Grave Guard won’t get wiped out then activate Mannfred and/or the Wight King first to get a 12” +1 attack aura from each (Wight King has the command trait which has the same rule as Mannfred’s sword).
Can use Vampire Lord Command ability of you have the Command Points to buff one unit with +1 attack. The Wight King’s Command ability will give rerolls of 1 to hit if you have the CP.
Grave Guard will now have up to 5 Attacks on 2+/3+ -1 rend 2 damage. If you get just 20 models in melee range (not too hard) then that’s 130 damage before saves abs 17 Mortal Wounds. On turn two when you have Vanhels on them that’s 260 damage +34MW!!!
If you could get all 30 in to combat (in a line of 2×15 for example even across multiple units) you have 150 attacks on 2+ reroll 1s/3+ -1 rend 2 damage, piling in twice so double that. This would be 390 damage before saves and additional 51MW on average.
Use spare CP for Inspiring Presence if you need it.
Turn two onwards
Heal each of the Grave Guard D3 with Deathly Invocation.
Use the Necromancers to cast Vanhels through the spell portal or debuff enemy units, turn cogs to reroll saves and extra spell if you don’t need the movement.
If you left a unit in the grave drop them where they’re needed and repeat the above.
You will probably lose a unit of Grave Guard fairly quickly but you can hopefully summon a unit of 10 back if you roll well. Even 10 is a decent threat especially late game.
Keep your heroes within 3” of a unit to protect them from shooting, your necromancers can hand off damage to the Skeletons which should keep them alive for a couple of turns.
Turn one you’re on +3 to cast on all four casters so try to make this count with one good cast through the Spellportal.
Structure the Grave Guard how you like, you could do 20/10/10/10 or 20/20/10 instead for example.
The list is potentially CP hungry, so make sure you save at least one for charge rerolls that first turn. You can get +2 attacks from abilities and then Vanhels will be enough to pump up the damage. The changes with 3.0 should also provide a bit more CP to the list to help, otherwise you can swap to Vrykos for the reroll charge command trait and reroll casting rolls. Also gaining a passive +1 to wound increasing damage output but losing the +1 save turn one, +1 attack command trait and the +2 casting bonus.
Chaff may present a problem, Mannfred can be quite choppy to help but it could be worth splitting one unit of Grave Guard in to two units of twenty and two of ten and send the tens in as a first wave to clear chaff. Then turn two bring in the two units of twenty to hit the real stuff.
This is also not the most mobile list, so use Mannfred’s movement ability to teleport out of trouble or in to good buffing positions for his CA, or on to objectives. If your Necromancers are safe from attack you could also deploy the 10 skeletons in reserve to drop on to an objective turn 3. Pinions on the Vampire can also make him a decent objective grabber late game.
It’s not low drop and has no Battalion, need to wait for AoS 3.0 rules to see how battalions work and if any core ones are usable. This list would certainly benefit from getting to choose the first turn order.